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Elastic bands added to traditional free-weight techniques have become a part of suggested training routines in recent years. Because of the variable loading patterns of elastic bands (i.e., greater stretch produces greater resistance), it is necessary to quantify the exact loading patterns of bands to identify the volume and intensity of training. The purpose of this study was to determine the length vs. tension properties of multiple sizes of a set of commonly used elastic bands to quantify the resistance that would be applied to free-weight plus elastic bench presses (BP) and squats (SQ). Five elastic bands of varying thickness were affixed to an overhead support beam. Dumbbells of varying weights were progressively added to the free end while the linear deformation was recorded with each subsequent weight increment. The resistance was plotted as a factor of linear deformation, and best-fit nonlinear logarithmic regression equations were then matched to the data. For both the BP and SQ loading conditions and all band thicknesses tested, R2 values were greater than 0.9623. These data suggest that differences in load exist as a result of the thickness of the elastic band, attachment technique, and type of exercise being performed. Facilities should adopt their own form of loading quantification to match their unique set of circumstances when acquiring, researching, and implementing elastic band and free-weight exercises into the training programs. © 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Shoepe TC, Ramirez DA, Almstedt HC. Elastic band prediction equations for combined free-weight and elastic band bench presses and squats. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):195-200. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318199d963. PMID: 19816220.